Thursday, January 19, 2012

Best Bands of All Time - #3 Arcwelder

#3 - Arcwelder

Ahh, Arcwelder! A melodic, bombastic, wall of sound.

I think I first saw Arcwelder opening up for Soul Asylum in about 1991 at First Ave. and they've consistently been a favorite of mine ever since. I say "consistently" because they're still playing a couple shows a year and I just saw them over Christmas at the Turf Club in St. Paul.

Arcwelder was always the band that I wanted to become because they managed their terrific rock band while still holding down normal jobs. When I started playing in a band at age 29 I had a good job and wasn't prepared to sacrifice everything for the incessant touring required to make it professionally. Brothers Bill and Rob Graber (lead and bass guitar) always had a decent career and were still able to create phenomenal rock music, whilst only touring occasionally.

Here's an example, the instrumental "Cranberry Sauce":

Arcwelder grew up in that time before ubiquitous movie cameras and simple film software. Their early lo-fi videos are definitely of that time when indie rock bands had low budgets and homemade videos. This is "All Mixed Together" off of their 4th album, Xerxes:

A couple years ago a buddy and I flew from Minneapolis to Portland just to see Arcwelder. They're that kind of band that those now rare shows are essential.

The Deets
If you could buy just one album: Pull
Best lyric: Sing a little pop song / and everybody loves you (from "Remember to Forget")
Best iTunes track featuring singing drummer Scott Macdonald to sample: "What Did You Call It That For"
Best quote from 1990 press release announcing changing of band's name from "tiltawhirl": "It is the chance of the public associating 'tiltawhirl', the band, with 'Tilt-a-Whirl', the ride, that Sellner wishes to avoid. That is why the band's suggestions for new names such as 'Tilt', 'Tilted World', and 'Tiltagirl' were nixed by Sellner".

Long live Arcwelder!

No comments: